THE Burnham Park Management Authority (BPMA) decided last week to issue a “citation ticket” against the Burnham Park Fencing Committee (BPFC) for “fencing the wrong backyard.”

Acting on recommendations by Councilor Perlita Rondez during its January 21 meeting, BPMA agreed to enforce provisions of its resolution 10-2008, which authorized BPFC to raise funds for the construction of the park's perimeter fence.

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A BPMA resolution on the matter is expected to come out this week.

Rondez said BPFC failed to submit a design to BPMA as required by BPMA Resolution 10-2008.

She likewise complained lack of transparency in fund disbursements and lack of public consultation on the fencing of Melvin Jones along Harrison Road.

Rondez said that BPFC was merely authorized to rehabilitate existing worn out fences at the Children's Park area.

"The BPMA resolution granting fencing authority did not cover the whole park because of the absence of a relocation survey determining the exact metes and bounds of the reservation," she explained.

She said, "[While] I recognize BPFC's intention to leave a gift to the people of Baguio through their project... I likewise acknowledge the vision laid by locals during the Burnham summit, which is to keep the park open, and welcoming."

Fencing the whole park, she added, "gives the impression for the public to stay away or that it is off limits."

But not everyone shares Rondez' point of view.

Last week, Vice Mayor Daniel Farinas proposed a resolution supporting BPFC's fencing project. It will be tackled once the council resumes regular session after the 2010 city budget has been approved.

Meanwhile, BPFC vice chair and concurrent BPMA member Victorino Agcaoili said, "We will not work against the grain on this one... I hope that it is not too late to find a 'win-win' solution to the apparent mix up."

"Me and the bishop are too old to pick a fight... we're just concerned about Burnham and our city," Agcaoili said.

He added that BPFC has been closely coordinating with the University of the Cordillera's (UC) team headed by Arch. Roberto Romero whose suggestions BPFC has taken in consideration in pursuing the project.

"I assure the City Government…[that] there will be no conflict in the UC plans and the community project we've started out of our concern for our park," he said.

Dispelling Rondez's claims of nil transparency, Agcaoili said BPFC's have been published via media interviews, including BPFC's website.

"On top of these," he said, "Our meetings every Thursday are open to the public... we encourage their participation and we are ready to answer whatever questions they have, anytime."

"In fact, our treasurer's report is available at the city's Burnham Park office through Arch. Josephine Chan, as well as our BPFC website through which donors can course their contributions," he added.

Rondez said that under the design drawn by the City Engineer's Office, a span of fence cost merely P49,000 -- a far cry from the P60,000 and P120,000 BPFC is soliciting.

She retorted, "Maintenance, which they claimed caused their costing to balloon, is a job of the city government and not a private group like BPFC."

Agcaoili, however, explained: "The money we get from donations does not only go to construction and maintenance..."

"It likewise covers published collaterals promoting the park and to convince concerned citizens to part with their hard earned money for the benefit of the Baguio citizenry," he said.

On Rondez' claim of lack of public consultation, Agcaoili prayed: "I hope the good councilor views our project as aid to the city which has problems implementing projects due to their reenacted budget."

"We are not the enemies here, we are allies who empowered ourselves in order to make our park better, safer for revelers," he added.

He said the fence was installed by BPFC with the purpose of making security and order maintenance easier for the city's enforcers.

Appealing Rondez to ease up on technicalities, he said: "It is never too late to get our acts together for the people of Baguio of which we're part of - the very people whom she claims we should have consulted."

"Absurd as it might be to say sorry for helping out, we will do so if that's the only way we could avert frustration of those who showed they're willing to help," he added. (Gani Liporada)